Ducks close out homestand with visit from Kings
Tuesday, 12.01.2009 / 7:30 PMKINGS (15-10-2) at DUCKS (10-11-4)
Last 10 --
Los Angeles 5-5-0; Anaheim 4-4-2
Season series --
The Pacific Division rivals will meet for the first time this season. The Ducks are 1-3-2 within the division and currently fifth with 24 points -- six behind fourth-place Phoenix. The Kings are second in the division with 32 points -- eight behind first-place San Jose. The teams not only split the six-game season series in 2008-09 but scored 15 goals apiece.
Big Story --
The Ducks will close out a seven-game homestand against the Kings before traveling to Dallas and Minnesota on Thursday and Friday. The club is 4-1-1 at Honda Center during its recent stretch -- 8-7-1 overall -- and is 13th in the Western Conference. Randy Carlyle's club has won six of its last eight at home (6-1-1) and wing Corey Perry
has points in 13 straight home games, registering 6 goals and 18 points over that stretch.
The Kings, in the midst of a stretch in which they play 13 games in 23 days, received some good news on Sunday when Ryan Smyth was back on the ice skating with the club for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on Nov. 16 at Florida. The Kings' top line has struggled a bit with Smyth on the shelf, connecting for just one goal in five games. In Smyth's absence, Anze Kopitar
has centered for Alexander Frolov and Justin Williams
. Smyth, who anticipates a mid-December return, remains the Kings' second-leading scorer with 23 points in 22 games.
"This is a critical time for us," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "From this time forward until the Christmas break. We have some big games at home. A lot of stuff is going to happen here in a short period of time, so we have to bring our 'A' game."
Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere has gone 3-0-1 in his last four games with a 1.71 goals-against average and .944 save percentage. For the season, Giguere, who missed six games with a groin strain earlier this month, is 3-3-3 with a 2.67 GAA and .915 save percentage.
Who's Hot --
Perry is riding an 18-game point scoring streak (nine goals, 24 points) that matches the longest in the NHL since Phil Kessel put together an 18-game scoring streak 14 goals, 28 points) with the Boston Bruins from Nov. 13 through Dec. 21, 2008. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was the last player to put together a scoring streak longer than 18 games, reaching 19 from Oct. 6 through Nov. 17, 2007 (11 goals, 30 points).
Injury Report --
The Ducks are without forwards Kyle Calder (eye), Ryan Carter (foot) and Joffrey Lupul (back spasms). The Kings are without forwards Ryan Smyth (upper body) and Andrei Loktionov
(shoulder surgery). Defenseman Rob Scuderi
, who has missed six games with a lower-body injury, is possible against the Ducks.
Stat Pack --
Anaheim's specialty teams has done an admirable job of late. The club has scored a power-play goal in three straight games, going 5-for-10 and has also connected for six goals with the man advantage in their last eight contests (12-for-31). The Ducks have not allowed a power-play goal in four straight (15-for-15) and have killed 16 straight since the third period of the team's 3-2 setback to San Jose on Nov. 21.
Puck Drop --
The Ducks are in dire need of points right now and need someone other than Perry, Ryan Getzlaf
(28 points), Teemu Selanne (20 points) and Bobby Ryan
(18 points) to contribute offensively. … Kopitar ranks third in the NHL in scoring with 33 points but he hasn't registered a goal in nine straight games.